Woodblock printed. 85; 63 folding leaves. Four parts in two vols. Large 8vo (306 x 208 mm.), orig. brown semi-stiff wrappers (wrappers somewhat soiled), old stitching. [Korea]: n.d., but 1672?
A rare and early Korean edition of this famous Confucian florilegium (WorldCat 35891613). The author is Song- dynasty thinker and educator Zhen Dexiu (also known as Zhen Xishan 真西山, 1178-1235), who was a follower of Zhu Xi 朱熹 (1130-1200). Zhen had “a considerable influence on the formation of Neo-Confucian ideology in the Yüan and early Ming” (Chu, “Chu Hsi and Public Instruction,” 273). His book The Classic of the Mind contains excerpts dealing with the cultivation of the mind drawn from canonical Confucian literature. This edition comes with a commentary by Cheng Minzheng 程敏政 (1445-99), who was a Ming dynasty official and writer. Cheng was famous for his learning but made enemies at court and was imprisoned for a time, suspected of misconduct during civil service examinations. He was eventually released and rehabilitated, but died soon thereafter.
Zhen Dexiu’s book had a profound impact on Yi Hwang 李滉 (1501-70, also known as Yi T’oegye 李退溪). According to Gao Lingyin, “by means of Zhen Xishan’s Classic of the Mind, Yi T’oegye inherited and continued to develop the ‘Learning of the Mind’ thought of Master Zhu’s teachings.” Yi, in turn, was the most influential philosopher in the Zhu Xi school in Korea. His “discourse” on the Classic of the Mind, dated 1556, is included in this edition. Mediated by Yi, the Classic of the Mind with Cheng Minzheng’s annotations became very influential within Neo-Confucian education in Chosŏn Korea.
According to the Asami catalogue (26.9), the Cheng edition was printed from woodblocks in 1492 (his Preface is dated 1492), and the Yi edition appeared about 1566. King Sŏnjo admired the text so much that he ordered a movable type edition, issued ca. 1573. Later editions were printed using woodblocks but attempted to maintain the “look” of the movable type edition.
Very nice set. Occasional minor worming and staining.
Chu, Ron-Guey. “Chu Hsi and Public Instruction.” In Neo-Confucian Education: The Formative Stage. Edited by Wm. Theodore de Bary and John W. Chaffee. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1989.
Fang Chaoying. The Asami Library: A Descriptive Catalog. Edited by Elizabeth Huff. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1969.
Gao Lingyin 高令印. “Zhen Xishan de Xinjing shi Li Tuixi xinxue sixiang de lilun yuanyuan” 真西山的《心經》是李退溪心學思想的理論淵源. In Zhuzi xue yanjiu 朱子學研究. Edited by Zou Yongxian 鄒永賢. Xiamen: Xiamen daxue chubanshe, 1989.
Item ID: 9454